Dave Meigs

David Meigs is a novelist with a background in youth outreach, specializing in ministry to at-risk youth and their families. Though his writing is enjoyed by all ages, his novels provide a unique, life-changing quality, critical for the youth of today. David and his family lives in Seabeck, Washington.

Life-Transforming Fiction

Recipe for Changing Lives

I love to cook. I think I picked it up from my dad. Back when I was just a little tyke, I remember waking up in the middle of the night and finding Dad baking pies. He would put a finger to his lips, warning me to keep quiet. Then he would let me sample a little. After making me promise to keep this our secret, he would send me back to bed. “I want to surprise your momma,” he would say.

It wasn’t until I had kids of my own that he came clean about the true reason for keeping his midnight bake-fests a secret. He explained that he burned more pies than ones that turned out, and he didn’t want Mom to know. By morning, Dad would have the mess cleaned up, and Mom would either wake up to a couple of perfectly baked pies or find Dad making breakfast. Naturally, he would burn a couple slices of toast to cover the lingering odor of burned pies. As I said, Dad loved to cook, but I never said he was very good at it.

So is there a recipe for writing inspirational fiction that changes lives? In a word, yes. In fact, there are many. You could say that there are as many formulas as there are writing styles, genres, or even writers. Most Christian authors would agree that God plays an important role in their creative process. Many consider writing a ministry, to see lives transformed in a supernatural way. For these authors, writing a novel includes a great deal of prayer and seeking God’s direction. Most of the Christian novelists I know fall into this category.

Not all recipes turn out like the picture in the cookbook either. I’ve found that it is pretty much the same with writing. I have written some novels that I am proud of and others that are, well, not so great; and I will admit to at least one story that I would hide from my own mother. I guess I get that from my dad too. If only everything we wrote would turn out the way we first envisioned it.

The truth is that even if we spend a great deal of time in prayer and trying to hear from God, not everything we write turns out as we would hope. In my case, some projects have turned out to be downright embarrassing. Does that mean we are somehow less spiritual when we fail? Does it even matter? I like to think of my occasional literary faux pas as part of paying my dues. It is all part of the learning experience, right? Besides, God wants us to be humble.

So how do you handle it when you fail? Do you manage to take it in stride, or do, like my dad, destroy all evidence, allowing only your successes to define you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

That is it for now. Until next month, may all your pies and everything you write turn out perfect. Happy New Year to you all!